Come on in, it’s what you’ve been dreaming of…?

The Trees by Ali Shaw - front cover

It sets off as a second person narrative, and doesn’t give you a name. He’s wading through a typical day which may or may not be the same as yours, but you’ll relate to the wading. And then something weird happens.

I think everyone from H G Wells to David Nobbs has written this story – oh and then there’s Threads, of course, and Red Dwarf, and…

I think I was around ten years old when I first set out to write this book. I was slightly shocked when, at around 13 years of age, I met a girl who told a version where, instead of something weird happening, she owned a magic sword which, at her command, lopped everyone’s heads off.

It seemed a bit much somehow, giving oneself responsibility for the apocalypse but then again, if everyone was dreaming those dreams (oh yes – and Bob Dylan.)

Community hub

Anyway, here in this world that is still limping along on the brink, over the last couple of years I’ve started using real, bricks and mortar libraries again. While times are so hard and the government so pernicious, it’s good that libraries are ‘community hubs’, that you can meet people, and get help there, and that they have loos and free period products … stop laughing, I’m being serious here — if you don’t want the concept of our services to disappear, use them.

Also, I have realized that going back over the books of the last decade or so is interesting, and that the limitations placed on one by most libraries’ woeful lack of stock causes books one might otherwise ignore to wave at one so now, I’m reading Trees, by Ali Shaw.

Ali Shaw takes readers on a strange and vivid journey … Fantastical and haunting, says Eowyn Ivey on the back cover.

An English ecological version of The Road says the Guardian.

Does for trees what Hitchcock did for birds, says the Irish Times

Tarantino meets Middle Earth says the Financial Times

I guess it all depends what you’re wading in, and how deep, and whether you want the world we’ve made to end or not. Thing is, I realize now that my sword-wielding friend was a step ahead of the game — but what she missed was that no one of us has a magic sword — not Corbyn, not Mick Lynch, not even J K Rowling. If we want to stop the juggernaut, we’re going to have to do it ourselves — together.

Meantime, if the prospect in front of you is a long and rainy January, I say, come on in – the trees are lovely.

The Trees by Ali Shaw - front cover


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